Spirit Pub Company reported healthy sales growth for the 12 weeks to 20 August in its first trading update since it demerged from Punch Taverns last month.
Like-for-like sales in its managed division rose by 3.8% for the fourth quarter, slower than the 5.2% growth seen for the full year, which the company attributed to strong 2010 Q4 trading as a result of the World Cup.
Food sales rose by 7.9% (7.2% for the full year), while drinks sales were up by 1.2% (4% for the 52 weeks).
In the leased division, like-for-like net income fell 3.3% (-4.1% over 52 weeks). Spirit has begun the process of converting up to 100 leased pubs to its managed brands, with two conversions already completed.
Uninvested pub sales grew by 0.9% in the quarter and 3.6% in the year.
Ian Dyson, chief executive officer, said: "We are pleased with the continued progress we have made in the business, as we strive to become the best managed pub company in the UK.
"We have delivered another quarter of strong growth and have again outperformed the market. While the economic and consumer outlook remains challenging, we believe we have the right plans in place to enable us to make further progress in the coming year".
Spirit, which has 803 managed pubs and 549 leased pubs, was demerged from Punch Taverns on 1 August. Full year results are expected to be announced on 20 October.
By Janie Stamford
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